Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bibliographic notes for my 2016 new years reading resolution

Bibliographic notes for my 2016 new years reading resolution “ I RESOLVE TO READ ONE BOOK A WEEK FOR 2016.”

Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life, A Memoir.

I loved that old high-roofed building. It was warm in winter and cool in summer, and although it seemed built to last forever, and the sense of space was unlike anything I knew except the lobbies of movie houses, the attraction of the Library was not merely shelter. I was there on a more exciting mission: the discovery of the world.”

Pete Hamill is direct and unabashed as he plows through the first 37 years of his colorful life; from Brooklyn to Manhattan to Mexico, to Spain, Ireland, England…  He lived his life looking through a kaleidoscope until confronted by a truth that changed everything. The book defines the second and third quarter of 20th -century New York life; tender, harsh and as funny as life can be when you are at the bottom climbing up without a rope.

Finally, it’s a cookbook for understanding drinking, heavy drinking. His portrayal of alcoholism, recovery and humanity from a first-person perspective is not for the squeamish. The writing is rough and communicates a reality of today often overlooked.